'Wall Of Arms' CD / LP Release Date 04/05/2009
The Maccabees return with their 2nd album 'Wall Of Arms'. 'Wall Of Arms' retains all the energy and passion that made The Maccabees fan favourites first time round but is a huge leap forward creatively. Paired with the Arcade Fire producer Markus Dravs the album introduces horns and keys to their signature staccato guitar attack. The tonality of emotions explored and broad expanse of space the songs inhabit is breathtaking.
'Roadsinger [To Warm You Through The Night]' CD / 2D Release Date 04/05/2009
With his reintroduction to the pop world behind him, renowned singer-songwriter Yusuf [the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens] is ready to once again strike up an intimate relationship with his audience. After retreating from the pop stage following classic '70s multi-platinum albums such as 'Tea For The Tillerman' and 'Teaser And The Firecat' and acclaimed hits such as 'Wild World', 'Peace Train', 'Moonshadow', 'Morning Has Broken' and 'Father And Son', Yusuf returned in late 2006 with his first pop album in 28 years. Now a second album, 'Roadsinger (To Warm You Through The Night)', is set to be released May 4th, 2009. "I was absent from my audience for so long," Yusuf says, "people thought another album would never come. The 2006 album, 'An Other Cup', was a surprise. With this new album, the distance is much less. I'm back to doing what I do best – painting pictures with music and storytelling on a very human, personal, intuitive level through lyrics and song, so I can help people feel good again. I guess in some ways the new album picks up where the Cat Stevens the public knows left off." The album, 'Roadsinger', was produced by the now singularly named Yusuf with help from Martin Terefe [James Morrison, Jason Mraz, Martha Wainwright], and recorded in London, Los Angeles and Nashville. Guests include James Morrison, Michelle Branch, and Holly Williams [granddaughter of Hank Williams, Sr.]. "The new album is a response to the way 'An Other Cup' was received," Yusuf explains. "Fans said they wanted to hear more of me with a guitar. So this album is much more folk-tale oriented. Also, apart from one track, all of it was recorded live. I listened to a lot of '70s L.A. music, such as Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Carole King, and it inspired me to go back into that intimate style of recording. The songs are somewhat autobiographical but abstract enough so everyone can relate to them and connect them to their own lives." The title track, 'Roadsinger,' unfolds the tale of an outcast who revisits his old hometown; along the empty street a child peeks from behind a store window and gives an innocent smile out of the shadows of prejudice. "The theme of a journey has always been big with me," says Yusuf. "There are plenty people who sing, but not enough who have walked the walk," he says. "But, unfortunately, I'm still often misunderstood. I embraced an unexpected spiritual path that was confusing for many (converting to Islam in 1977) and since then people have concocted their own ideas about it. Maybe because of subsequent world-shaking events, people wanted to put me into their own one-sided view, but I don't fit those limitations. My world is still borderless and wide. The removal of conflict and establishment of peace has always been my global objective. It's sad that lot of people, including some Muslims, forget that the name Islam actually comes from the word 'Peace' in Arabic." The forthcoming album also showcases some songs from my forthcoming musical 'Moonshadow.' One, 'This Glass World,' is a reflection of our split society of haves and have-nots. The story takes place on a dismal planet of perpetual night where only the moon's shine lights the darkness; it is about a boy's meeting with his Moonshadow and adventurous search for the lost world of the sun and happiness. Yusuf's return to his guitar came about when his teenage artist-musician son, Muhammad [aka Yoriyos], brought one home. One morning, Yusuf was alone in the lounge when he looked over and felt a draw of curiosity overtake him. He slowly picked it up. "I put my fingers on the fretboard to make a 'C' chord," he remembers, "and surprised myself, It's still there!. It felt right. So I started playing again." On the forthcoming album, Yusuf even plays electric guitar on a couple of tracks, along with keyboards. "This part of my career feels similar in one sense to when I began," Yusuf reflects. "I had to get past the songs on Mona Bone Jakon before I could move on to 'Tea For The Tillerman', etc. This time around it was the same story: I had to lay the groundwork with my debut album, An Other Cup, before a bunch of new songs arrived. I had quite a few in my back pocket and again it was my son who sparked the next step. He said, 'Isn't it time to start recording a new album?' And it was." For one of music's most extraordinary artists, the journey continues. The new album will be available on CD and a deluxe cd/dvd hardcover album book from the 4th May. the deluxe package features 4 bits of extra content including the Boots And Sand Video, Peacetrain Blues audio with image slideshow, A conversation with Yusuf and Alun Davies, and the Roadsinger Van Makeover.
FALL OUT BOY
'Live In Phoenix' Blu-Ray Release Date 04/05/2009
Witness the champions of Indie Punk Rock at the pinnacle of their 2007 American Tour. Featuring thumping live performances of all their hits, including 'Sugar, We're Going Down', 'Dance, Dance', 'This Ain't A Scene It's An Arms Race', 'Thnks Fr Th Mmrs', 'I'm A Like a Lawyer (Me & You)', and 'Take Over, The Breaks Over'. Bonus features include an expansive 45 minute behind-the-scenes documentary, an exclusive glimpse of the band in rehearsals, on the road, and their backstage antics. Plus a complete collection of their promo videos.
'Sea Sew' CD Release Date 04/05/2009
Hannigan's chance meeting with singer-songwriter Damien Rice led to a long period of collaboration and development that included Rice's critically acclaimed albums 'O' and '9'. Hannigan was awarded 'Best Debut Album', 'Best Irish Album', 'Best Irish Track' and 'Best Female' in the 2009 Hot Press Reader Poll. The Daily Telegraph hailed Hannigan's performance at London's St Johns Church as, "Stunning, Hannigan's music leaves a lasting impression" The FT declared, "A beaming presence. Rice's next work is a plainer prospect without her. His loss is our gain" and The Times simply, "Mesmerising".
'I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits Of' 2CD Release Date 04/05/2009
Randy Travis is Country Royalty – quite simply one of the biggest established stars in Country Music today. 23 years at the top of the Country Charts, and Warner Nashville's biggest selling artist of all time. His stature in the USA is such that American Idol devoted a week to Randy Travis songs and he guested on the show performing 'I Told You So' with Carrie Underwood. This is a 2 CD collection of 32 hits spanning his country career to date. 14 Country #1s and 9 more country top tens.
'The Ultimate Collection: MCA Years' CD Release Date 04/05/2009
Tanya Tucker, country music's resilient femme fatale, literally grew up in the spotlight of country music. By the time she was old enough to get a driver's licence she already had a string of number one hits. She became the party girl of Hollywood. There was always so much to recommend Tanya's records. Her sultry, gutsy and emotional voice was always so full of knowing understanding of the lyrics she was singing. The day she turned sixteen she was a millionaire. That was when she underwent a million-dollar label-change from Columbia to MCA. Despite her butter-wouldn't-melt-in-the-mouth appearance, sixteen-year-old Tanya was a very grown up young lady. The hits continued, notably with 'Lizzie And The Rainman', 'San Antonio Stroll', 'Here's Some Love' and 'Texas (When I Die)'. Tanya realised that with a very short sideways step, a whole new rock audience could be reached, and she became one of the first singers to bring rock'n'roll bravado to country music. All those facets of Tanya's career are demonstrated in this collection of recordings.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink what comes out"?